Heineken Cup: Leinster 25-3 Montpellier

Leinster (20) 25

  • Tries: O'Brien, Kearney, Healy
  • Cons: McFadden 2
  • Pen: McFadden 2

Montpellier (0) 3

  • Pen: Moyano
Sean O'Brien scores Leinster's first try

Sean O'Brien scores Leinster's first try at the RDS

Holders Leinster secured a home draw in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals as they produced a composed display to beat Montpellier at the RDS.

Tries by Sean O'Brien and Rob Kearney helped Leinster take a 17-0 lead with Fergus McFadden kicking seven points.

Montpellier responded with sustained pressure but the home defence held out despite Damian Browne's sin-binning.

Cian Healy scored Leinster's third try after the restart before Martin Bustos Moyano opened Montpellier's account.

Leinster were forced to make a late change to their starting line-up at the RDS with Jonathan Sexton not risked because of an ankle injury and Ian Madigan drafted in at fly-half.

HEINEKEN CUP POOL THREE

Pld Won Pts

Leinster

6

5

24

Glasgow

6

2

12

Bath

6

2

11

Montpellier

6

1

10

The holders opted to play with a strong wind in the hope of further deflating a Montpellier side already out of contention for a place in the knockout stages.

The home side duly dominated early on as they produced a series of attacks in the Montpellier 22.

The pressure eventually told in the ninth minute as O'Brien burrowed his way over the line after forward thrusts by Isaac Boss, Healy and Kearney.

McFadden added the conversion and he then slotted a 13th-minute penalty to increase Leinster's lead to 10-0.

Leinster's lightning start continued in the 16th minute as Gordon D'Arcy's perfectly judged pass put Kearney in the clear and the Lions full-back's full stretch enabled him to get the try, which was converted by McFadden.

HEINEKEN QUALIFIERS SO FAR

  • Leinster
  • Munster
  • Ulster
  • Toulouse
  • Clermont

To their credit, Montpellier fought back and were camped on the Leinster line for all of the next 15 minutes.

Georgian flanker Mamuka Gorgodze was twice held up after getting over the Leinster line and the home side somehow held out despite having lock Damian Briowne sin-binned for coming in from the side.

The siege was eventually lifted after Jamie Hagan produced a turnover which left Montpellier's efforts at nought.

To rub further salt into Montpellier wounds, McFadden added another penalty before the break which increased Leinster's lead to 20-0.

Healy's try within two minutes of the restart increased Montpellier's woes as Leinster went on to dominate the third quarter.

Moyano finally opened Montpellier's account in the 68th minute as the introduction of a number of replacements appeared to take the edge off Leinster's display.

The contest became bogged down in the closing 10 minutes with handling errors also frustrating Leinster attempts to earn a bonus point - although they had done enough to secure a home quarter-final.

POST-MATCH VIEWS

Leinster coach Joe Schmidt:

"We have a home quarter-final is the overriding verdict.

"A couple of nice plays came off for us to get a couple of tries and build a 17-point lead and I thought there was really good character to defend off our line the way we did."

Leinster wing Isa Nacewa:

"It definitely gave the team a boost after 13 or 15 minutes to turn the ball over and go down the other end of the field and get points..

"Montpellier are a great team and it takes hard graft to get results."

TEAM DETAILS

Leinster: R Kearney; F McFadden, E O'Malley, G D'Arcy, I Nacewa; I Madigan, I Boss; C Healy, R Strauss, J Hagan; L Cullen (capt), D Browne; R Ruddock, S O'Brien, J Heaslip.

Replacements: F Carr for Kearney 65, E Reddan for Boss 57, H van der Merwe for Healy 48, S Cronin for Strauss 57, M Ross for Hagan 40, D Toner for Cullen 56, S Jennings for O'Brien 56.

Not Used: D. Kearney.

Montpellier: JB Loustalet; T Nagusa, Y Audrin, P Bosch,MB Moyano; F Trinh-Duc, J Tomas; N Leleimalefag, A Creevy, G Jgenti; D Hancke, M Demarco; F Ouedraogo (capt), M Gorgodze, A Tulou

Replacements: T Combezou for Peyras-Loustalet 56, B Paillaugue for Audrin 78, S Fernandez for Trinh-Duc 57, J Figallo for Leleimalefaga 60, van Vuuren for Creevy (56), J Tuineau for Demarco 57.

Not Used: Bost.